The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is extending a public comment period on Enbridge Energy's proposed Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project by a month.
The agency, which is considering the project's wetlands permits, announced Friday that it pushed back the comment deadline until Feb. 21 “after receiving multiple requests.”
“We wanted to ensure the public and our partner agencies had ample time to review the information and provide us meaningful feedback,” said Chad Konickson, regulatory chief. “We are looking for comments related to the scope of our evaluation, specifically those impacts to wetlands and waterways as a result of the construction-related activities in Enbridge’s application.”
The Army Corps regulates the placement of fill material in wetlands as well as work and structures in "navigable waters" but does not regulate the construction, operation of pipelines or the materials transported by the pipelines.
According to the Army Corps, Line 3 would cross 80 miles of wetlands in Minnesota and a mile in North Dakota, resulting in temporary impacts to 1,000 acres of wetland and a permanent impacts to 10 acres of wetlands.
While the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has fully approved a certificate of need and route permit for Line 3, numerous other permits are still being weighed by other organizations.
The controversial pipeline is set to replace the 50-year-old Line 3 and carry 760,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta to the Enbridge terminal in Superior.
Through Feb. 21 public comments can emailed to: CEMVPL3R-PN-Comments@usace.army.mil or mailed to District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, 180 Fifth St. E., Suite 700, St. Paul, MN 55101